Somenos Marsh Outdoor Education Centre's Newest Teacher: Sea Lion?!

February 5, 2018


     Clearly we were all captivated by this visitor from a distant place.  My husband Nick and I were amazed to see the newest teacher at Somenos Marsh Outdoor Education Centre-a Sea Lion!  We shared our amazement on my Facebook page, and Bob Isbister drew up a great map of the sea lion's likely route.  Within hours it was  posted online through many island and mainland media. The next day Kelly Girvan took her class out to visit the outdoor classroom.  Perhaps the "teacher" was there again?!  What an adventure this animal had to find it's way to a fresh water marsh!

The environmental issues around the globe are concerning, and difficult to articulate for many kids, and adults too. However, this week I felt a current of curiosity, concern, and amazement as the views on my Facebook page exceeded 74k and 1500 shares!

     I am a strong believer in the power of song.  It can range from a sweet little tune like Baby Beluga to a fully transformative piece like Verdi's Requiem. It is accessible to everyone!  My heart is also with choral music and it's ability to bring people together. Over the last year or so I was thinking about the text I had read from the "Declaration of Interdependence -A Pledge to Planet Earth," written by Tara Cullis and David Suzuki, Wade Davis, Raffi Cavoukian, Guujaaw, and art by Micheal Nicoll YahGulanaas.  And for some reason my musician's ear kept hearing Dvorak's Symphony No.9 in E minor, "New World Symphony" playing to the words I read in the 'Declaration.'  So in April 2017, I wrote the foundation and asked permission to use the "Declaration of Interdependence" with the Dvorak piece, and they replied a few months later.

 I am deeply humbled by this approval to move forward with the project.  The authors  and composer have taken care of the true creative process. I am simply here to offer a new adaptation.  I hope to weave the text through the symphony in a way that allows kids to convey their care and concern for the planet.

It's taking considerable time, and I have not set a completion date. It is a beautiful creative process with an unforgettable wildlife experience to punctuate the new year!







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